Friday, January 27, 2006


Common sense is actually a highly contradictory body of beliefs that combines elements from the Stone Age and principles of a more advanced science, prejudices from all past phases of history at the local level and intuitions of a future philosophy which will be that of the human race united the world over. Common sense is thus an amalgam of ideas on which the practical consciousness of the masses of the people is actually formed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

not another list!

Because I am not creative enough to think up clever lists like, Ben, Loren, or even Mike; I just recycle their great ideas. I suffer from an acute case of 'standing on the shoulders of giants syndrome,' or SSoGS.

However here is a partial list of Literary Critics Essential for the Theologian:

  • Harold Bloom
  • Julia Kristeva
  • Roland Barthes
  • Umberto Eco
  • Wolfgang Iser
  • Edward Said
  • Mikhail Bakhtin
  • Gerard Genette
  • Terry Eagleton
  • Jonathan Culler
  • Fredric Jameson
  • Robert Polzin (he counts!)
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Ferdinand de Saussure

I would love to see someone make a list for socio-rhetorical critics! And I am sorry the list is so dominated by male critics.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Essential Music for Theologians

Ben Meyers' (a huge Bob Dylan fan) whose recent posts have been very delightful, has seemingly forgotten a very important category, popular music. Never fear I have seen this deficiency and have attempted to rectify it here on my blog.

Popular Music for the Apocalyptic Imagination

  1. Glosoli - Sigur Ros - Takk
  2. Vertigo - U2 - How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
  3. Everything in its Right Place - Radiohead - Kid A
  4. Hey Man (Now Your Really Living) - Eels - Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  5. Devils and Dust - Bruce Springsteen - Devils and Dust
  6. 2+2=5 - Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
  7. Now It's On - Grandaddy - Sumday
  8. Change - Tracy Chapman - Where You Live
  9. At the Bottom of Everything - Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
  10. Wake Up - Rage Against the Machine - RATM
  11. Old Shit/New Shit - Eels - Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  12. Workin' On Leavin' The Livin' - Modest Mouse - Building Nothing out of Smoething
  13. Criticism as Inspiration - Pedro The Lion - The Only Reason I feel Secure
  14. Killing in The Name Of - Rage Against the Machine - RATM (in a Walter Wink sort of way)
  15. The Seer's Tower - Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
  16. I Have Forgiven - Morrissey - You Are The Quarry

I am sure that there are some glaring omissions (like no Bob Dylan, but I will leave that to Ben), but I have a limited CD collection!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Essential novels for theologians

Ben Myers posted this awhile ago but for some reason it just now came up on my news reader. Since I really liked this post I thought I would make my own list, strictly from books that I have read.

1. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

2. Sea Wolf - Jack London

3. Watership Down - Richard Adams

4. The Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison

5. Cats Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

6. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupery

7. Barabbas - Par Lagerkvist

8. Old Goriot - Balzac

9. The Sybil - Par Lagerkvist

10. Martin Eden - Jack London (especially for those who have not published but would love to)

11. The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

12. The Life of Pi - Yann Martel

I should have added something by Graham Greene, or Robertson Davies, but I couldn't choose. And to be fair I am only half way through The Life of Pi but it so fascinating that I thought it warranted a spot, so perhaps it made the list by way of freshness. My list is very different than the one Ben posted, that may be a testament to the theologians we are? What would you add or subtract from this list?

UPDATE: Ben's post was a new post yet my news reader dated it 12-12-05.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Snowsuit Effort

It is not often that one comes across a website that is so beautiful and yet so powerful. The Snowsuit Effort is the genius of Ryan Keberly who takes pictures of the street community in the Detroit area and shares them with the world on his photoblog. These powerful pictures are accompanied by a quote from the person photographed, some times heart tugging, some times just inane. Clicking through these pictures reminds me of Joseph Mitchell, but with a camera. For me it is a constant reminder of the true beauty of humanity and the social sins of society.

Read more about it here.